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Dr. Peter Hotez talks about Labor Day weekend crowds, the Mu variant, boosters and more

Dr. Hotez spoke on CBS This Morning about several topics related to COVID.

HOUSTON — Houston vaccine expert Dr. Peter Hotez is talking about COVID on this Labor Day and his concerns about crowds gathering.

There were packed football stadiums over the weekend, and in Philadelphia, fans jammed into the two-day ‘Made in America’ festival. 

In an interview on CBS This Morning, Dr. Hotez, Professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Virology at Baylor College of Medicine and Co-Director of Texas Children's Center for Vaccine Development, says seeing the crowds is concerning.

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“We’re having this incredible surge right now of COVID-19, although it’s unevenly distributed in the United States right now,” said Dr. Hotez. “In the South, right now, the South is on fire in terms of this raging epidemic."

And with cases so high, Hotez says people need to take it seriously.

'It troubles me that we somehow decided that this is over and the Delta variant is surging across America," he said. 

And now we’re learning about a new variant coming into play – the Mu variant.

“We have enough to worry about right now with the Delta variant and let’s get our way through that. I’m looking at that new variant that could be troubling, but right now, it’s around. It’s not really gaining ascendency. It think the key is to vaccinate our way out of Delta. But the problem is the bar is really high. You’re looking at the need to vaccinate up to 90 percent of the U.S. population and it may require up to three doses of the MRNA vaccines in order to make that happen.”

Dr. Hotez says that’s very achievable, and something we already do with other vaccines.

You can see the full interview with Dr. Hotez in the tweet below.

Another question asked to Dr. Hotez during the interview Monday morning was about boosters. According to the New York Times, federal health officials have told the White House to scale back its plan for the third shot right now and it seems the public is getting mixed messages.  Dr. Hotez's response is below.